The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) has reported that discussions at the 13th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Noumea Convention, or 'SPREP Convention,' focused on the protection, management and development of the marine and coastal environment.
17 September 2015: The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) has reported that discussions at the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Noumea Convention, or ‘SPREP Convention,’ focused on the protection, management and development of the marine and coastal environment.
The agenda included a joint proposal from SPREP, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and Forum Fisheries Agency to analyze in detail the forms completed by witnesses on fishing vessels who observe interactions with threatened species of turtles and marine mammals, among others. Also proposed was the strengthening of partnerships with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) by encouraging ratification of various IMO conventions. Items regarding marine pollution related to purse seine fishing vessel operations in the Western and Central Pacific region, and an update on the Regional Reception Facilities Plan for Small island developing States (SIDS) in the Pacific Region were also on the agenda.
The meeting convened in Apia, Samoa on 17 September 2015 to continue work under the Convention, which requires Parties to take measures to prevent, reduce and control pollution from any source in the Convention area, and to ensure sound environmental management and development of natural resources. Of the 12 SPREP members that have ratified the Noumea Convention and its “Dumping” and “Emergencies” Protocols, Australia, the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, France, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Samoa, Solomon Islands and the US were present at the meeting. New Caledonia attended as an observer.
The 13th COP to the Noumea Convention will be followed by the eighth meeting of the COP to the Waigani Convention to ban the export of hazardous or radioactive waste management on 18 September 2015, the Pacific Environment Forum on Climate Finance on 21 September 2015, and the 26th SPREP Meeting of Officials on 22-24 September 2015. [SPREP Press Release] [Meeting Website]